Meat Beat: Chicken Gizzards at Lucky Wishbone

Curious about the other other dark meat? Offal, otherwise known as organ meat, is for the truly daring gourmand. It’s also surprisingly easy to find in Tucson.

One of Tucson’s most beloved and everlasting restaurant chains, Lucky Wishbone, has served fried chicken gizzards since opening the doors in 1953. Along with fried livers — also available — Lucky Wishbone is the only local fast food joint featuring offal.

Gizzards are a digestive organ most commonly found in poultry, as well as in some reptiles and crustaceans. The gizzard acts as a second stomach for poultry, allowing the birds to break down food without use of teeth. Getting hungry?

Lucky Wishbone’s gizzards are, naturally, deep fried and crispy. Best eaten hot out of the fryer, the gizzards are chewy and have an almost spongy texture with a subtle gaminess. They’re similar to the texture of liver, but without the bitterness or metallic taste that often accompanies other types of offal. Try a few of the popcorn chicken-sized gizzards by themselves, as in sans-sauce to fully appreciate all that gizzardness. Then try one dipped into Lucky Wishbone’s signature sauce, which is essentially cocktail sauce laced with spicy sharp horseradish.

If you’re having doubts about committing to a whole order of gizzards, order fried chicken or shrimp and add a few gizzards on to your order. As with the rest of the fried and grilled menu offerings at Lucky Wishbone, gizzards can be ordered a la carte or as a meal, served with fries and a garlicky buttered slice of thick Texas toast.

At $0.81 per gizzard à la carte, you have nothing to lose other than some spare change. And maybe some cholesterol points. But let’s get real – if you’re eating at Lucky Wishbone, LDL levels are not a priority.

For more information, visit

Meat Beat is a new series that explores Tucson’s unique meat-centric culinary offerings.

Melissa hails from Brooklyn where she worked for a whole animal craft butchery company. She is now a professional Instagrammer in Tucson and believes everything is better in taco form. Follow her Instagram adventures on @mstihl.